The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, and growing importance of technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalization. In the last three years alone, there have been over 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on 3D printing in medical: custom orthotics 3D printing. Buy the report here.
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 155,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the medical devices industry, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Custom orthotics 3D printing is a key innovation area in 3D printing
Custom orthotics 3D printing combines advanced 3D printing technology to create orthotics tailored to an individual’s specific needs. This 3D printing technology uses precise and accurate measurements of a person’s foot to create the perfect fit, providing improved comfort and support compared to traditional, mass-produced orthotics.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of custom orthotics 3D printing.
Key players in custom orthotics 3D printing – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to custom orthotics 3D printing
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Ossur hf||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|3D Systems||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eurazeo||22||Unlock Company Profile|
|Align Technology||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Smith & Nephew||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Berkshire Hathaway||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Konica Minolta||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dreve Otoplastik||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mecuris||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Orfit Industries||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Otto Bock||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kuraray||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Becker Orthopedic||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|ResMed||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Oventus Medical||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|ConforMIS||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Patient Square Capital||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alpha MOS||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Aetrex Worldwide||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nanjing Children's Hospital||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ekso Bionics||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|The ODP||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Swibrace||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|The Cigna Group||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Septum Solutions||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Orion Biotech||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dover||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|James R. Glidewell Dental Ceramics||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|The People's Liberation Army (China)||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Somnomed||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pohlig||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hewlett Packard Enterprise||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Invent Medical Group sro||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|MirrorMe3D||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|DXC Technology||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wiivv Wearables||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wuhan City Central Hospital||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|UT-Battelle||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Buck Medical Research||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ford Motor||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Gunze||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Peacocks Medical Group||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|MRL Materials Resources||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Black Flame Medical Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Wuhu Qize Information Technology||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shaanxi Hengtong Intelligent Machine||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Real Dimension||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Flex VRA||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of application diversity, Samsung Group leads the pack, while Kuraray and Berkshire Hathaway stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Smith & Nephew held the top position, followed by Berkshire Hathaway and Dreve Otoplastik.
Custom orthotics using 3D printing technology enable tailored, cost-effective solutions, improving patient comfort and treatment efficacy. Future prospects suggest widespread adoption due to reduced production costs, faster manufacturing and increased accessibility. Advancements in materials and scanning technologies will further optimize precision and customization. 3D-printed custom orthotics are poised to redefine patient care, offering personalized solutions for various musculoskeletal conditions.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 3D Printing in Medical Devices.